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Lexus orchestral manouevres in the parks

4th August 2007 Print
LSO recording at Air Studios Lexus has created the world’s first classical music ensemble composed entirely of cars. The Lexus Symphony Orchestra, a group of 12 LS 460 limousines, will perform for the first time this summer at two major open air concerts, presenting a programme of popular classics and original works.

The orchestra has been created by Lexus GB to demonstrate the quality of the LS 460’s sound system, designed specially for the car by international audio specialist Mark Levinson. With an array of 19 custom-engineered speakers and a 15-channel 450-watt amplifier, it gives ‘reference’ sound reproduction that matches the results from a professional music studio monitoring desk.

To reveal this quality to a larger audience, Lexus brought together the London Symphony Orchestra and the Bach Choir in a recording session with conductor Alastair King at Sir George Martin’s world-famous AIR Studios in London. The musicians performed the celebrated classical pieces Pavane for a Dead Princess by Ravel and Satie’s Gymnopédie No1, and two new commissions written specially for the Lexus auto-orchestra: Summon the Hero and Karma Nirvana, composed by Chesney Hawkes and Chris Nicolaides and orchestrated by Alastair King.

The results will be presented for the first time at the Proms Spectacular at Castle Howard on 18 and 19 August and at the Last Night of the Summer Proms at Crystal Palace Park on 25 and 26 August. The Lexus Symphony Orchestra will be providing interval entertainment on its own stage, with guests invited to sit inside the cars to hear the music and watch a video of how the performance was created. There will then be a full scale performance involving all 12 cars, each one representing a different section of the orchestra, co-ordinated through a central digital sound desk. Each vehicle will be precisely positioned, with doors open, to produce the ideal orchestral effect.

You can sample the orchestra’s music making on-line by visiting and clicking on the Lexus Symphony Orchestra track links. The story of the project has been followed by ITV’s Pulling Power for a feature to be broadcast later this year.

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LSO recording at Air Studios Lexus LS 460 Mark Levinson Audio Lexus LS 460 Mark Levinson Audio